Nordea reaches for the stars

Interior design
POLAND Finnish financial services group Nordea has chosen an office building next to its IT campus in Warsaw’s Włochy district for its Nordea Horizon global cyber-security command and control centre.

The 2,500 sqm cyber-security centre is to be situated on three floors (4 to 6) of the new Libra 2 office building developed by Mermaid Capital at ul. Daimlera 4. Around 250 IT specialists are to work there, monitoring banking operations 24 hours a day.

The fit-out work on the centre has taken less than two years and features a sci-fi-movie inspired interior design with geometric forms and monochrome colours highlighted by a pre-programmed lighting system. The centre is entered it through special security “airlocks”. At its heart there is a staircase connecting the three floors (from the fourth to the sixth floor) with giant mirrors on both sides to resemble a wormhole and with steps that light up when walked upon as well as green walls along the entire length of the stairwell.

The main work zone is on the middle floor, which is a two-level auditorium with a large video wall mounted with around 80 screens. To ensure the confidentiality of the data displayed on the huge screen, the walls of the zone are made of cellular polycarbonate plates, which blur the image but allow light in at the same time. The work in the main hall is to be supervised by managers in the glass room on the first floor. In the event of a serious issue arising, a red alert button can be pressed by the controllers that changes the colours of the lighting throughout the office to red.

On the lowest floor a number of conference rooms have been set up for creative work, video conferencing or meetings of entire teams. Common rest areas have also been provided, including the Space Garden – a zone filled with plants, where you can relax on soft furniture and hanging armchairs. Futuristic flora can also be found in the kitchen and the dining room, the central feature of which is a glass vivarium with tropical plant species. Hexagonal lighting has been installed as a background for the greenery and employees can even take naps in nearby capsules.

The Experience Hub on the top floor is a closed zone for exploring the technological possibilities of space, designed to stimulate the various senses. Upon entering this zone employees are given an interactive presentation sequence simulating an interstellar voyage that combines audiovisual effects with the design of the office. The main meeting room has been decorated with depictions of the Earth from space and an animation of the Nordea Horizon “space station”.

“This was one of the longest and most difficult design commissions that our company has ever taken on,” agreed Dominika Zielińska and Bogusz Parzyszek, who run the Workplace studio that was responsible for the interior design. “It started with creative workshops held with the management of Nordea to examine the specifics of the centre’s work and develop a strategy for this place. The key moment came when we convinced the client to merge the top two floors in the new building and install an internal staircase. This move enabled us to create of an integrated space that reveals the information exchange between the personnel. Then, halfway through the process, the decision was made to give the design a cosmic theme. In a short time we were then able to come up with a style inspired by top secret Nasa facilities. The aim of this was to give the interiors an innovative character while integrating the office layout with the technology used within it. The result of these inspired decisions together with the close cooperation with the client are offices with a genuinely extra-terrestrial atmosphere,” explain the designers.

The bank’s IT campus in the Libra Business Centre office building at ul. Gottlieba Daimlera 2 (next door to Nordea Horizon) was opened in 2018.

More pictures can be viewed in our gallery.

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